The Best Mary Berry Fish Pie Recipe

Last updated on April 20, 2024

Mary Berry Fish Pie
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins

Mary Berry’s Fish Pie is a delightful seafood dish, brimming with flavors of fresh fish, creamy sauce, and a golden mashed potato topping. It’s a comforting meal that’s perfect for family dinners or a cozy weekend feast.

This recipe serves 6-8 people and can be prepared in about 1 to 1.5 hours. In this article, I will guide you through each step to create Mary Berry’s iconic Fish Pie, complete with handy tips and variations.

What is Mary Berry Fish Pie?

Mary Berry Fish Pie is a traditional British dish known for its rich layers of flaky fish, creamy sauce, and smooth mashed potato crust. It combines various types of fish in a white sauce, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.

Mary Berry Fish Pie Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavorful and Comforting: The combination of different fish with a creamy sauce and mashed potatoes offers a comfort food experience that’s hard to beat.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a casual family dinner or a special holiday meal, this fish pie fits beautifully into any meal plan.
  • Adaptable: You can easily customize the types of fish used or add extra ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Fish Pie

  • Fish Fillets (1 kg / 2.2 lbs): A mix of salmon, haddock, and cod, skinless and boneless.
  • Shrimp (200 g / 0.44 lbs): Peeled and deveined.
  • Whole Milk (500 ml / 17 fl oz): For poaching the fish.
  • Onion (1 large): Quartered, it adds flavor to the milk while poaching.
  • Bay Leaves (2): For infusing the milk.
  • Potatoes (1 kg / 2.2 lbs): Peeled and quartered, for the mash.
  • Heavy Cream (100 ml / 3.4 fl oz): Adds richness to the mashed potatoes.
  • Butter (50 g / 1.76 oz): For the mashed potatoes and to make the sauce.
  • Plain Flour (50 g / 1.76 oz): To thicken the sauce.
  • Cheese (100 g / 3.5 oz): Grated cheddar for sprinkling on top.
  • Parsley (A handful): Chopped, for garnish and flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper (To taste): For seasoning.


  • Large Pot: For boiling the potatoes and poaching the fish.
  • Baking Dish: Approximately 8 x 12 inches.
  • Saucepan: For making the sauce.
  • Colander: For draining the potatoes.
  • Potato Masher or Ricer: To create smooth mashed potatoes.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Fish Pie

Step 1: Prepare the Fish

  • Poach the Fish: In a large pot, add the fish fillets, quartered onion, bay leaves, and milk. Gently heat until the milk is just simmering, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the fish and set aside, reserving the milk for the sauce.

Step 2: Make the Mashed Potatoes

  • Boil the Potatoes: Place the quartered potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Mash the Potatoes: Drain the potatoes and mash with butter and heavy cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Create the Sauce

  • Make a Roux: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir for a minute to form a roux.
  • Add Reserved Milk: Gradually add the reserved poaching milk to the roux, whisking continuously until the sauce thickens.
  • Season the Sauce: Add a pinch of salt and pepper. You can also add a dash of nutmeg for extra flavor.

Step 4: Assemble the Pie

  • Layer the Ingredients: In a baking dish, flake the poached fish evenly. Sprinkle over the shrimp.
  • Pour the Sauce: Spread the white sauce over the fish and shrimp.
  • Top with Mashed Potatoes: Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top and smooth out with a fork. Sprinkle grated cheese on top for a golden crust.

Step 5: Bake the Pie

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • Bake the Pie: Place the pie in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling.

The Best Mary Berry Fish Pie Recipe


What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Fish Pie?

  • Green Salad: A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing complements the richness of the pie.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Serve with steamed broccoli, carrots, or peas for a healthy side.
  • Crusty Bread: Perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce.
  • Roasted Asparagus: Lightly seasoned and roasted, asparagus makes a flavorful and elegant side.
  • Sautéed Spinach: A quick sauté of spinach with garlic pairs well with the creamy texture of the pie.
  • Coleslaw: A crisp coleslaw can add a refreshing crunch to balance the pie’s richness.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Fish Pie

  • Ensure Freshness: Use the freshest fish you can find for the best flavor.
  • Don’t Overcook the Fish: Poach the fish gently to keep it tender.
  • Season Well: Properly seasoning each component brings out the flavors.
  • Use Quality Potatoes: Choose high-quality potatoes for the mash to ensure a creamy, smooth topping.
  • Thoroughly Dry the Fish: After poaching, make sure the fish is well-drained to prevent a watery pie.
  • Layer Ingredients Thoughtfully: Arrange the fish and shrimp in layers to ensure every bite is balanced.
  • Enhance the Flavor: Consider adding a splash of white wine to the fish during poaching for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Check for Seasoning: Taste the sauce and mash before assembling the pie to adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Incorporate fresh parsley or dill into the mash or sauce for a fresh, herby punch.
  • Achieve a Crisp Top: For a crispier top, broil the pie for a few minutes after baking until the surface is golden and crunchy.

Variations of Mary Berry Fish Pie

  • Add Prawns: Include prawns for a more luxurious pie.
  • Use Different Fish: Try using smoked haddock or trout for a change of flavor.
  • Include Vegetables: Layer cooked spinach or leeks in the pie for added nutrition and taste.
  • Add a Crust: Experiment with a puff pastry topping for a different texture.
  • Spice It Up: Add a pinch of curry powder or paprika to the sauce for a hint of spice.

How do I Store Mary Berry Fish Pie Leftovers?

Proper storage of Mary Berry Fish Pie leftovers ensures that you can enjoy this delightful dish even after the day it’s made.

Here are the steps to store it safely:

  • Refrigerate Promptly: Transfer any leftovers to airtight containers and refrigerate within two hours of cooking.
  • Separate Portions: If possible, store portions separately to make reheating easier and to preserve freshness.
  • Label the Containers: Write the date on the containers to keep track of how long they’ve been stored.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Fish Pie Leftovers?

Reheating Mary Berry Fish Pie properly can help preserve its flavor and texture.

Here are effective ways to do it:

  • In the Oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Cover the pie with foil to prevent it from drying out and bake until heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Microwave Method: For a quick option, cover a portion with a damp paper towel and microwave on medium power in 90-second intervals, checking for even heating.
  • Avoid Overheating: Reheat only until the pie is hot throughout to maintain the best quality.

Nutrition Value (per serving):

  • Calories: 520 kcal
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 105 mg
  • Sodium: 380 mg
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 6 g


What Types of Fish Are Best for Making Mary Berry Fish Pie?

For Mary Berry Fish Pie, the best types of fish to use are those that flake easily and have a mild flavor. Ideal choices include cod, haddock, and salmon. Mixing these fish types not only enhances the flavor but also contributes to a richer texture. Avoid using very oily fish as they can overpower the other flavors in the pie.

Can Mary Berry Fish Pie Be Made in Advance?

Yes, Mary Berry Fish Pie can be prepared in advance, making it a convenient option for busy days. You can assemble the pie up to one day before you plan to bake it. Simply cover and refrigerate the assembled pie, then bake it according to the recipe instructions, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time since it will be cold from the fridge.

How Can I Make Mary Berry Fish Pie Gluten-Free?

To make Mary Berry Fish Pie gluten-free, substitute the plain flour used in the sauce with a gluten-free flour blend. Additionally, ensure all other ingredients, such as stock or flavorings, are certified gluten-free. This simple substitution will allow you to enjoy the same delicious flavors without the gluten.

What Is the Best Way to Thicken the Sauce for Mary Berry Fish Pie?

The best way to thicken the sauce for Mary Berry Fish Pie is by preparing a roux using equal parts of butter and flour. Cook the roux until it’s golden and bubbly before slowly whisking in the milk reserved from poaching the fish. This method provides a creamy, thick base that binds the ingredients together beautifully.

Where Did Mary Berry Fish Pie Originate?

Mary Berry Fish Pie is a classic British dish that has been popularized by Mary Berry, a renowned British food writer and television presenter. The recipe reflects traditional British cooking methods and ingredients, particularly the use of local seafood and dairy. Mary Berry helped popularize this dish through her cookbooks and TV shows, making it a beloved comfort food in the UK and beyond.

What Should I Do If My Fish Pie Filling Is Too Runny?

If the filling of your Mary Berry Fish Pie turns out too runny, there are a couple of quick fixes you can try. First, ensure your roux is properly cooked and thick before adding the liquid. If the pie is already assembled, you can bake it a bit longer to reduce the sauce. Alternatively, you can mix a small amount of cornstarch with cold water to create a slurry, and stir this into the pie filling before baking to help thicken it up.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Fish Pie stands as a quintessential British comfort dish, blending creamy, savory flavors beneath a smooth, golden crust. This recipe not only satisfies the appetite but also warms the heart with each delicious forkful. Ideal for impressing guests at a dinner party or for a comforting family meal, this fish pie delivers on all fronts. It embodies home-cooked luxury with straightforward ingredients and clear instructions, ensuring that even novice cooks can achieve spectacular results. Embrace this beloved dish and make it a cherished addition to your culinary repertoire.

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